In one of the fascinating confrontations in recent years, Apple and Epic Games have started a massive fight over the ability to set up a system where microtransactions avoid the Apple Store tax.
Apple declined the request, and when Epic went ahead with it anyway, Apple removed Epic’s star game Fortnite from the App Store. Within hours, Fortnite sued Apple for its approach to taking cuts of microtransactions. In response to that, Apple removed all Epic products, including the Unreal Engine that powers many different games and apps.
In response to this fight, the other titan of this technological and gaming world, Microsoft, has taken a side.
On August 23rd, they announced their support for Epic and the Unreal Engine. Microsoft claims that Apple’s banning of Fortnite was justified, as they breached the Terms of Service. However, going after all of the Unreal Engine games goes too far and does serve as a monopolistic maneuver.
What many are now wondering is just how this might tip the scales. Will Microsoft’s endorsement be more likely to get a ruling from the court? Certainly, Microsoft has something to gain from this, as Epic’s Gears of War series were one of the hit exclusives available on the Xbox.
Somewhat on the side of Apple, interestingly, is Google. Fortnite was also removed from the Google Play Store, but they did not go after the Unreal Engine games. On account of this, it seems unlikely that a similar coalition will form against Google. It should be noted that Epic filed another lawsuit against Google for the removal of Fortnite.
Whoever wins this duel of megacorporations, this remains a fascinating contest for the world of mobile gaming. Whether it’s the coalition of Microsoft, Epic (and maybe even Facebook) or Apple and Google, make sure to keep an eye on the courts’ ruling.